Tag: antiques

Boro Style Sashiko Stitched Pillow

Boro Style Sashiko Stitched Pillow

It’s a new year, and I’m trying new things.  Boro style textiles have captured my imagination, and sashiko stitching can easily be embraced by those of us who are daunted by the skill and precision of traditional American dainty little quilting stitches.  I’ve received such a positive reaction to my first piece and have gotten many questions, so I’m just going to lay out my process here.  And remember, I have no idea what I’m doing.  I’m just doing, and this was my first piece.  I have graduated to my second, however, for whatever grandeur that might lend to my resume.

I started by gathering a selection of fabrics—new, old, antique, quilt squares, etc. that I thought might work well together. I know this sounds easy, but I spent the better part of an afternoon rearranging, editing, and changing up the whole thing.
When it was time to go make dinner, this is where things were at. Then I walked away for the night so I could look at it with fresh eyes in the morning.  Still happy then, I pinned everything down thoroughly.
This is a wee bit out of order, but I layered all my random top pieces over a foundation fabric the size I wanted my finished piece to be plus seam allowance. I happened to be using a vintage cloth napkin my husband deemed unacceptable as it resembled a torn up sheet, but you could use anything in your stash including an actual torn up sheet… Just don’t make it too thick because you will be stitching through it in addition to all your other top layers.  It’s a little different than what I did here, but I would recommend first starting with a row of running stitches around the entire perimeter of the piece.  After that, anything goes.
Then I just started stitching. Imperfect running stitches based on whim or influenced by the piece of fabric I was stitching over. Sashiko means “little stabs”, so just go at it and don’t worry about anything. I jumped all over the piece, stitching where I felt like in no particular order.
So that’s really it. I finished the first piece there and made it into an oversized pillow. This piece is now my second venture into the technique.

Happy Stitching!

Opening Day—it’s flea marketing season!

flea market find, aka inspiration in waiting

Around these parts, Todd’s Farm is the flea marketing and antiquing mecca.  First Sunday of April through until hardy New England souls can’t bear the weather any longer.  Yesterday, being the first Sunday of April, we got our walking shoes out and hit the stalls.

When I first met my husband, he was already a Todd’s Farm devotee.  He called going to the market every Sunday, “going to church”.  Yep, it looked good early on that this guy was going to work out okay.  For our first few years together, I frequently had to work on Sundays, so I’d only be able to wonder all day what he’d discovered that morning and wait until I returned home to find the treasures—or get reports of a complete bust.  Didn’t matter.  It’s the thrill of the hunt.  I joked the other day as I was taking photos for the website that we’ve turned our home into our own prop department.  The backdrop for most of my photos is an oversized primitive farm cupboard we found at Acushnet River Antiques.  When it is not fulfilling backdrop duties, it holds my pots and mixing bowls.  The organic dishtowel is draped over an antique clothes ringer we found a Todd’s, yarns are displayed in vintage measuring scoops, and we have a derelict headless carousel horse from Dudley Do Rights’s that is just begging for its chance to shine in the right photo shoot.  I also find fodder for my studio work in the form of antique rugs to make pillows with and old hooked rugs to sample from for inspiration.

organic hand towel displayed on an antique clothes ringer

All said, Todd’s was smaller than usual yesterday–just getting its feet wet as it winds up for the season.  Still, it was nice to see familiar faces, familiar dogs who apparently are of the flea marketing bug, too, and some familiar pieces—you know the ones that were on display last year but you couldn’t afford?  Surely, there must be a markdown by now.

a pillow I made from a flea market find